CHICAGO (CBS) — A downtown booster organization has launched a series of parties designed to get people to think of the alleys in the Loop in a different way.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports few people venture into downtown alleys, where they’re likely as not to see a rat scurrying about.
Now, the Chicago Loop Alliance has planned a series of five “placemaking” events to get workers to stick around for parties in the alleys after business hours.
“We’re not inviting people to come out and hang out at dumpsters,” said Loop Alliance executive director Mike Edwards. “The idea is to invite people to experience the Loop from a different perspective, which is these kind of cool, urban spaces that are really unique.”
The first event, scheduled for Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the alley that cuts through the Sullivan Center, half a block east of State Street, between Monroe and Madison streets, will feature art, music, food, and drinks – and no rats.
Every alley will be power-washed before each event is held, to keep rats away.
“All these alleys will be cleaned before we would ever invite people to come in and enjoy them from an urban texture experience,” Edwards said. “We fill them with art, and music, and lighting, and it’s kind of a networking event for people to come in and enjoy the Loop in a different way.”
Other alley parties have been scheduled for June 5, Aug. 1, Sept. 17, and Oct. 16. Specific plans will be announced a month in advance of each event at loopchicago.com/activate.